Mannywellz is a unique artist who makes”SoulFro” music. He describes his sound as”Music from the Soul With Afro Elements”. This also happens to be the name of the PG County native’s latest tape. Last year, Manny opened up for Jidenna on his ” Long Live The Chief” tour but now it’s his time to truly shine as a headliner.
On Monday, March 5th in Washington DC at Union Stage Mannywellz held his first ever headline show. Performing to a sold-out audience of fans and friends Mannywellz delivered a stunning set showcasing his musical excellence backed by an absolutely amazing band. Before I get too deep into Mannywellz performance lets take it back to the start of the show. After a DJ set by Little Bacon Bear, the first act Sydney Franklin hit the stage and owned it winning over the crowd with a spirited performance of tracks from her latest EP. Her energy and dynamic live band set the tone for the show. Concerts aren’t always the safest places to be sometimes they can be a toxic mix of drugs, aggression, and debauchery but this show was anything but that. Peace, love, and positivity were in the air. The show was filled with love and unity, unlike anything I’ve ever seen this wasn’t purely about entertainment it was about inspiration, spiritual liberation, and love.
(Photos by Sabrina F.V. Holder (@sabrinafvholder)
Manywellz set it off right with an energetic remix to the Lauryn Hill record “Doo Wop” he had the whole crowd singing along. I might say this more than once but his energy was amazing. It’s hard to do it justice but I’ll say this Mannywellz truly has a gift from God. He is blessed with a heavenly voice and star status charisma.
In addition to remixing Lauryn Hill Manny led the crowd to a performance of Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright”. Manny has a lot of African supporters who relate to his story. In one of the most touching moments from the show, Manny turned down the music to introduce his song ” American Dream Freestyle” a song on which he recounts his story of moving to the US when he was young. At this point, the crowd was fully invested especially “the dreamers” in the audience who identified with his story
Manny delivered an EPIC rendition of his hit song “Watermelon”. ” Bring me that mm mm, Got dang, watermelon, and some rice Put the chicken on the side” this energetic call and response chorus got the crowd going as Manny directed every section of the crowd (right, left, and center) to sing along. The show was filled with soulful energy but its safe to say this climax was the peak of the show.
Manny surprised everyone with his second special guest Foggieraw. Foggieraw is a PG County recording artist with a style he describes as “mumble rap with soul”. He came out and performed ” U Can’t Be My Baby” a DJ Yung Vamp-produced a track from his new project “Fogtavious Vandross”.
Manny attempted to end the show but after a chant of “Mannywellz” erupted from the crowd the show had to go on so he closed with some slow tempo tracks from his first project “ WellZ” performing “Silvia”.
The son of a preacher Mannywellz has a heart and voice of gold. The Nigerian artist exhibited his gospel roots with a spiritually uplifting show that viewers won’t soon forget. From the loving atmosphere to the crowd participation to the amazingly melodic drums, keys and vocals it was a fantastic show.